Air pollution may cause brain damage

The scientists explained that the brain has naturally occurring magnetite particles.
By James Carlin | Oct 12, 2016
Air pollution is one of the widest spread types of pollution. This is because most of the machines are combustion based that release their by-product to the air. Combustion engines produce many by-products that are harmful to the environment and the human health.

However, after more research scientists from Lancaster University have discovered that nanoscopic magnetite particles may be responsible for neurological diseases. The group of scientists studied samples from over one hundred brains. The collected the brain sample from heavily air-polluted regions such as Mexico and Manchester to fully see the difference.

The scientists explained that the brain has naturally occurring magnetite particles. The particles help link nervous signals. However, in one individual from Mexico City, the researchers discovered that he had 100 percent higher the number of magnetite particles than an average human should have.

"It's dreadfully shocking. When you study the tissue you see the particles distributed between the cells and when you do a magnetic extraction there are millions of particles, millions in a single gram of brain tissue - that's a million opportunities to do damage," said Prof Barbara Maher from Lancaster University.

She explained that the foreign particles could easily be distinct from the natural as they were roundly shaped, signs that they were formed from extreme heat such as combustion. "They are spherical shapes, and they have tiny crystallites around their surfaces, and they occur with other metals like platinum which comes from catalytic converters." She said.


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